This Thanksgiving, while most people concentrate on family, food and football, there will be some who are busy showing thanks by giving back.
Not everyone has someone to share the holiday with and, for others, health problem can make leaving home impossible. Thanks to the generosity of some Warren County residents, these situations don't mean missing out on the Thanksgiving holiday.
Volunteers and organizations across the county are hard at work planning dinners and delivery services to help those in need.
One of those volunteers, Stan Taydus, has been providing a free Thanksgiving dinner to the public for nearly a decade at First United Methodist Church in Warren.
"I started doing this dinner probably seven or eight years ago," Taydus said. "I did it as a thank-you for the people of the First United Methodist Church... after I had some health issues, for the support they showed me and my family. Since that time it has grown as an outreach for people who don't have a family or friend to spend Thanksgiving with."
Taydus holds his dinner each year on the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving; this year, Nov. 17 at 4 p.m.
Taydus said he does send requests for donations of pies, but he and his family pick up the tab for the dinner itself.
"I welcome anyone to the dinner and only request that they call the church (723-4930), and let us know they will be coming," Taydus said. "The dinner is free and we have a free will offering plate out if someone feels the need to donate. All monies donated go to outreach programs within the church. We do ask for volunteers to help clean up after the dinner."
The turnout, according to Taydus, has grown considerably.
"The first year we made two turkeys," Taydus recalled. "Last year we made four and almost ran out. We are making at least six this year. I do traditional roasted turkey with stuffing and this year I will also be deep frying a couple of turkeys. I also do a ham for those who do not like turkey."
Taydus and his fellow volunteers aren't the only ones reaching out to the community this Thanksgiving.
Other Thanksgiving dinner events include:
Grace United Methodist Church in Warren will provide a free Thanksgiving dinner at noon on Thursday, Nov. 22. The dinner is free to attend, but the church requests reservations be made by calling 723-9440
Hessel Valley Lutheran Church in Chandlers Valley will provide a Thanksgiving community dinner at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 22. According to a church press release, the dinner is a gift to the community and no donations are expected.
Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, First Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church in Warren team up to provide hundreds of hot meals to shut-ins on Thanksgiving.
St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church and the Salvation Army will provide a free Thanksgiving dinner at St. Joseph's on Thursday, Nov. 22 beginning at 11:30 a.m.